New child restraint rule comes into force

  • Michael Woodhouse

Changes that will require children up to seven years old to use an approved child restraint when travelling in motor vehicles come into force from 1 November 2013.

“Children are among the most vulnerable passengers on our roads, especially when they are not properly restrained,” says Mr Woodhouse.

“Seatbelts are simply not designed for small bodies and these changes will help reduce injuries and save young lives.”

The rule change was agreed by Cabinet in 2012 and signed in June this year, providing parents and caregivers four months to ensure they have appropriate child restraints, such as booster or car seats. The existing requirement for children up to eight years old to use a child restraint if one is available will continue under the new rule.

“I would like to thank the NZ Transport Agency, the New Zealand Police and many other community-based organisations that have helped parents and caregivers understand what the change means for them.

“Increasing the age brings New Zealand more in line with international standards and aligns us with the rules in Australia and Japan.

“Improving the safety outcomes for all road users is an important aspect of the Government’s Safer Journeys strategy and I’m pleased that these new child restraint changes have received such strong public support.”

More information about the rule change and approved standards for child restraints can be found at